1. BREAK OUT OF THE
This Canadian trio have been together for seven years and are
looking to gain support further from home with this collection of 20 songs
that spans their career from 1998 to 2002.
Coming across like a youthful Green Day, they play that style of brat punk complete with the nasal vocals, short sharp songs and a feeling of pimply arrogance. The tracks tend to drift from one into another without any individual character or standout moments, so consequently with twenty songs on this album all sounding very samey, any impact is soon lost and it ends as a bit of a drag.
On the positive side, if you like the young spunky modern punk sound then you’ll probably like Dead Letter Dept because they are actually very good at what they are doing and if you are able to take them on their own merits, then they could be quite enjoyable. They have an incredibly tight sound, pounding out the largely mid to fast paced songs, and are pretty energised and upbeat, spitting out that white middle-class angst.
But ultimately, it’s very difficult to get excited about this band because they sound too much like Green Day - but without the punchy infectiousness, charisma or variety (“Pea's Of Jumangi” being a perfect example) - and because you feel like you’ve heard it all before, it doesn’t sound or feel new or exciting. There are probably other punk bands that you could say they sound like at times and unfortunately that is the point, they always sound like someone else and have very little identity of their own. It’s obvious that there is only so much you can do within this self-restricting genre, but what you can try and do is impose your own style, instead of just borrowing one from someone else…
- Rigsby (13th September, 2003)